New Delhi - India's new coach Ravi Shastri will allow
players to have fun as long as they put in the hard work, signalling a more
relaxed approach to his taskmaster predecessor Anil Kumble.
"As long as there's a level of commitment, the hard
yards are being put in and results are showing, why shouldn't there be
fun?" Shastri told the Times of India in an interview released on Thursday
that could reassure captain Virat Kohli.
Shastri, 55, took over as India's chief coach this week
after spin great Kumble quit last month saying his relationship with Kohli had
Kumble lasted just a year in the post, amid reports that
Kohli resented his style and wanted Shastri brought in.
India is the world's number one Test side and its players
are used to being treated like stars.
Shastri insisted that contrary to his reputation, he could
be authoritarian if needed.
"But there's no point in showing authority when it's
not required and there's a sense of bonding that works better," the former
India all-rounder said in the interview.
Shastri, a popular TV commentator, enjoyed a stellar 11-year
career, accumulating 6 938 runs and 280 wickets from 80 Tests and 150 one-day
He was also known for his flamboyant image, attracting media
attention for his alleged affairs and late-night partying.
His first assignment starts with India's tour of Sri Lanka
"It's not about 'tutoring' them about everything and
telling them what and what not to do. There's very little coaching at the
highest level," he said.
"It's about fine-tuning and mentoring, about effective